The entire history of humanity has been driven by those individuals who have the unique ability to make the non-material real; to create wealth out of nothing but ideas. And, while those productive people have definitely benefited materially from their creations; the side effect has been that all of humanity has also benefited. In fact, this transformation of abstract concepts into material goods; of the spiritual into the physical--has been largely responsible for mankind's evolution from caves to modern cities and civilization.
Modern-day Marxists (or, neo-Marxist fascists as I often refer to them) and all their totalitarian cousins (including the environmental fascists and the smiley-faced bureaucrats who think they can spend your money better than you can) would have you believe in typically contradictory postmodern style that:
- wealth is created off the backs of the poor, suffering underclass by the always oppressive and exploiting upper classes; and
- wealth and consumerism are very very bad because they devastate the environment and destroy the planet.
In the first instance, wealth is considered something good that is being stolen from its rightful owners by the evil capitalists; and in the second instance, the very act of creating wealth and consuming it is bad and inevitably mucks up the planet. What unites the two contradictory positions is the underlying desire of both camps to control and enslave the human mind and spirit.
The creation of wealth is only dependent on human thought, human ingenuity, and human desire (all non-material, yet important components of spirituality and mental development); and these are the foundations of the material progress you see all around you in the United States. When those non-material components of human existence are extrapolated to the real world, the results are the goods and services that overflow in abundance in economically free societies.
- By appreciating those goods and services, we pay homage to the human mind.
- By purchasing those goods and services, we honor human creativity as we pursue that which we value and which gives our lives meaning.
- By enjoying the material things that make my life easier and more enjoyable, we are celebrating the human spirit.
- By means of materialism --pursuing wealth, money and objects--free people happily provide the means by which many humans can benefit from the imagination of one. In other words, we contribute to the advancement of humanity from poverty to wealth; from homelessness to shelter; from hunger to satiety.
- By embracing materialism and honoring the human mind, we are embracing the the highest spiritual and mental development of humanity.
The reason to enjoy and appreciate all those materialistic "things" is because they are human thought made visible. When we give "objects" to people we love those objects become concrete expressions of our love. And, as physical beings living in a physical world, it is a function of our essential nature to translate the abstract, the intangible, the non-corporeal--the spiritual, if you will--into reality.
What those who constantly lecture us about the "shallowness" of pursuing material things forget--as they busily attempt to limit our ability to create, let alone pursue them--is that human freedom is inextricably bound up in that "shallow" pursuit. In fact, next time you enter a store and see the incredible variety of wonders for sale--no matter how silly or trivial or "non-essential" they may be--remember that every single one of them is a concrete expression of a human mind. Every time you buy one of those goods (interesting name for material things, no?), you are celebrating the freedom of that mind.
So, the next time you hear the political left and other neo-Marxist thugs and nannies talk about the necessity of "redistributing" wealth, remember that what they are talking about is nothing less than the enslavement of the human mind and spirit.
Feb 27, 2009 Counter-cyclical asset of the day: Atlas Shrugged
from Marginal Revolution by Alex Tabarrok
Sales of Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” have almost tripled over the first seven weeks of this year compared with sales for the same period in 2008. This continues a strong trend after bookstore sales reached an all-time annual high in 2008 of about 200,000 copies sold. Hat tip to Newmark's Door.